A ruthless first half by the end of which they led 1-10 to 0-0 laid the foundations for Milford’s stunning victory over the star-studded defending champions, Oulart the Ballagh, in the All-Ireland Senior Clubs Camogie Championship semi-final at Oulart on Sunday. The Cork and Munster champions made the long trip to the south east as rank outsiders but proceeded to tear the form book to shreds and send Wexford’s own invincibles crashing out of the competition. The Wexford side which contained four of the county’s three in a row All-Ireland winning team, captain Karen Atkinson, the Leacy sisters and camogie’s marquee star Ursula Jacob as well as six other members of the extended squad, were made to look very ordinary by the passion, skill and panache of the north Cork girls.

“We had to nothing to lose going up there. We played out of our skins and we were very happy with the performance,” said Milford manager Frankie Flannery. “We decided to play with the wind in the first half if we won the toss and when we turned over, we got the first two points of the second half. We then had a sending off and I think it had a bearing on the game,” he added.

Backed by the elements Milford established an early foothold on proceedings and thanks to a point from Emer Watson and a couple from Marie O’Neill they were 0-3 to 0-0 to the good after eleven minutes. On 13 minutes, Milford made a giant statement of intent when Maria Watson picked out Regina Curtin who finished to the net. From there on, the Cork champions incrementally built up a formidable lead with points from Emer and Áine Watson, two apiece, Regina Curtin and another brace from Marie O’Neill to lead 1-10 to 0-0 at the interval.

Any doubts about the potency of Milford were now dispelled as a glance at the half time scoreboard would remind the champions. The expected Oulart the Ballagh backlash after the interval did not materialise and it was the Cork girls with points from the Watsons, Maria and Emer in the 36th and 44th minutes that stretched the lead to 1-12 to 0-0 at the three quarters stage.

Oulart the Ballagh finally got off the mark on 51 minutes from an Ursula Jacob free and the full forward went on to add three quick fire points from play to put a more respectable look on the scoreboard, 1-12 to 0-4. At this point Milford were numerically challenged after having a player sent off and a slight hint of danger and vulnerability followed when substitute Aisling Moran who had just joined the fray crashed to the net. The Wexford side were now enjoying a period of superiority and three further late white flags from Jacob closed the gap but not enough to prevent Milford from marching on to a March 2nd final meeting with Galway champions Killimor in Croke Park.

Scorers: Milford: Marie O’Neill 0-4 and Emer Watson 0-4 each, Regina Curtin 1-1, Áine Watson 0-2 and Maria Watson 0-1.

Oulart The Ballagh: Ursula Jacob 0-7 and Aishling Moran 1-0.

Milford: Rebecca Finn; Katie Galvin, Elaine O’Riordan (captain), Lisa Healy; Orlaith O’Mahony, Anna Geary, Sarah Sexton; Maria Walsh, Ashling Thompson; Emer Watson, Deirdre O’Reilly, Áine Watson; Marie O’Neill, Regina Curtin and Maria Watson. Subs: Eimear O’Friel for E. Watson (50) and Deirdre Hayes for O’Mahony (55).

Oulart the Ballagh: Helena Jacob; Brídín Red-mond, Karen Atkinson, Kerrie Dunne; Stacy Redmond, Mary Leacy (captain), Shauna Sinnott; Shelly Kehoe, Ciara Stor-ey; Sharon Kehoe, Una Leacy, Louise Sinnott; Diane Ryan, Ursula Jacob and Aideen Brennan. Sub: Nicola Sinnott and Aisling Moran.

Referee: Owen Elliott, Antrim.